GOOD FRIDAY AD 2019
TRINITY EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH
REV. KURT E. REINHARDT
Alone. He went through it all alone. We cannot, no, we cannot, beloved, even to begin to grasp what that meant for Him. Loneliness? Yes, we probably have all, at one time or another, known loneliness. It may have been on the school yard when our friend was home sick and no one else would play with us. It may have been when a boyfriend or girlfriend or wife or husband left us behind for someone else. It may have been when our children grew up and moved away. It may have been when our husband or wife left us alone in this valley of sorrow, when they were called out of it by God.
Loneliness. Yes, we all have, or will, know loneliness in this life. But we cannot, no we cannot, possibly imagine what it was like for Him to be alone. We can know loneliness because no matter how our lives unfold we begin them and live them with others. None of us begins life alone. We all begin with someone in our lives, in fact our lives can’t begin without those others that we call parents. But it doesn’t remain that way, not forever or for always.
The Son of God, however, unlike us, from eternity, was never alone, not even for a moment or an instant. He and the Father and the Spirit were One from eternity. They were as connected as any beings can be, from forever and for always. There was never anything between them - never any space separating them, and they never wanted or needed any. While being completely complete each in themselves, they also wondrously complete each other. Each is completely God and yet you can not have God without each one of them.
As God, the Son never could be, or would be, alone but He became man so that He could be, would be. As one God with the Father the Son could never be apart from Him, but we need to know and understand, beloved, that the Son became man so that He, as the Second person of the Trinity, could experience being cut off from Him as one of us. Never having known what it was to be alone and never ever having to know it, He chose to know it as man. And know it, He did most deeply … most completely … in ways and to depths that you and I never have or ever will.
Why? Because our first parents in Eden and you and I ever since chose to “go it alone”. That was the heart of the lie, you see, that Adam and Eve were sold and you and I have bought into - that it was better for us to “go it alone.” That’s something that you need to think about whenever you know or feel loneliness in this world, it all goes back to and is born of the lie that we don’t need God or anyone else. Aloneness is born of sin and sin alone, whether it’s its wages - death, that tears people away from us, or whether it’s because we’re sitting alone with our arms crossed because we’re giving others the silent treatment.
Here is the answer to why Jesus does and must go through all that He goes through this day alone, with none to comfort … none to help … none to save. Adam and Eve’s choice and yours and mine ever since to “go it alone,”whether it was the times that we turned our backs on God or turned them on others in our lives, makes it necessary for Him to endure this terrible loneliness. He is cut off from all, you see, for all that the times that we have cut ourselves off. We commit the sin but He endures the consequences. The crime is ours - the punishment His. That is the profound reality and truth of what goes on on Golgatha.
Alone. Yes, He goes through it all alone as man, because mankind, that is you and me, chose to go it alone. Alone, He endures it all to save us from sin. And yes, that includes the terrible loneliness that flows from it. Jesus endures everything alone, so that we never have to be. He goes through it all, endures it all alone, so that He can always be with you and you can always be with Him. And so when, beloved, you endure the lowliness that sin has brought into our world, let it turn your heart and your mind to this day and the One who hung on the cross all alone, and hear from His dying lips the glorious and comforting truth, that it really is finished and know that He is with you in your shame, your guilt, your pain, your grief and your fear to forgive, comfort and save you forever. Amen.